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CNB ARCHIVES OCTOBER 2009: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

6a00d8341bf7d953ef01bb07cd860f970d-800wiPublished Saturday, October 31, 2009

By William E. Cleary Sr. 

GLOUCESTER CITY NJ--Dan Miller, the owner of Always Affordable Taxi, Gloucester City, asked me to find out why the City zoning laws prohibit a taxi cab business from parking its cabs on 6a00d8341bf7d953ef011571114c5a970c-800wiBroadway. Mr. Miller said last year he was going to open a Dollar Store at the South Broadway complex across from the senior citizens apartments. He planned to operate his taxi cab business at the same location and park the cabs in the large store parking lot. But because of the city law against taxi cabs he was refused a certificate of occupancy. He was also thinking of buying a north Broadway property but was told by the Housing Office no taxi cabs allowed.

Always Affordable Taxi provides jobs for 9 city residents, it purchases its gas for the taxi cabs here in Gloucester City, and it also uses the local newspaper (Gloucester City News), Channel 19 and ClearysNoteBook to advertize their services.

Forced off of Broadway Mr. Miller has to make do with an office in his home. People needing a taxi call his house and he dispatches the taxi to the pickup location. The cars are parked during the day and night with a driver at the Gloucester Inn on RT. 130.

Recently another taxi cab business, Gloucester City Cab had planned on opening an office at Broadway and Essex Street on the property that was once occupied by a used car dealer. I tried talking with the business owner but he had no comment. He was afraid that his taxi license to operate in the City would be revoked if he said anything negative. 

I am embarrassed and sadden that he was left with this impression of our community. 

He did say that the Housing Office told him there was a law prohibiting taxi cabs from parking on Broadway as such he could not open his office in our community. 

Can you imagine it is okay to sell used cars on Broadway and to have an auto repair shop but taxi cabs are not allowed to be parked on this commercial roadway. 

What happen to Gloucester City Cab? The owner packed up and moved to nearby Bellmawr where they were welcomed with open arms. 

Who knows how many local people they would have employed? And no doubt they are buying their gas from a Bellmawr gas station. Gloucester City would have one less store front vacant if they were allowed to locate here. And the city would have gained a tax ratable. 

For the life of me I cannot come up with a reason for denying taxi cabs the right to park on Broadway. Several city officials I spoke with, off the record, said the same.

Who passed this law? Was it the present administration; or a previous one? Why is it still in effect? Why didn’t the Housing Office bring this matter to the attention of mayor and council? Certainly someone in that office should see how ludicrous it is for our community to have an ordinance like this on the books. If it is because of appearance then they should look at some of the other businesses on Broadway and get them to clean up their properties before they enforce this one.

I have been running around in circles asking council members and city officials those questions since the beginning of the month. Their response, they would look into it but as of today, Friday (October 30) I was still waiting for someone to call.

I have a tendency to get on one’s nerves because I ask so many questions. Maybe that is the reason. But, I feel the public has a right to know so I keep trying. 

City Administrator Jack Lipsett apologized for not calling me back. Lipsett said that according to Joe Stecklair, of the Housing Office, this law has been on the books for some time; and that it was passed by a previous mayor and council. The administrator said he planned on bringing this ordinance to the attention of council in hopes that it will be amended or abolished. 

Gloucester City needs to be business friendly. We need more ratables not less. 

Hopefully mayor and council will not only look at this law but also instruct Mr. Stecklair to look at other outdated laws that should be abolished. Common sense should prevail in this case, not to allow a taxi cab to park on Broadway is laughable and absurd.

It should be noted that Mr. Stecklair just enforces the zoning laws he doesn't make them. That is the job of Mayor and Council. 

If you have a Tip sent it to cnbnews1@gmail.com or by mail CNBNews, PO Box 164, Gloucester City 08030.

 

Comments

1
unclegeorge said...

Bill why is this law going to be brought to Mayor and Councils attention like they are unaware of it existing. I know for a fact that Mr Miller went before Mayor and Council at a work session. I believe the meeting was sometime last summer but when he brought it up he was shot down by the Mayor who was very adamant that this was not going to happen. I guess the Mayor and Council have short memories. Just thought you would like to know.

 
 
2
Just my 2 Cents said...

There are several prohibited business types that the Gorman/Kain regime bestowed upon us no Taxi's, Tattoo shops, Body Piercing, GoGo Bars, Pawn Shops, Bail Bonds and anything else that could potentially be successful that could just as easily flourish in Brooklawn, Bellmawr, Mt. Ephraim and yes we even lose business to Camden. All of our surrounding communities welcome new business including all of the ones listed above as not part of Bob Gorman & Paul Kain's Gloucester Catholic ideology of their perfect nepotistic world. 

They also disliked any type of successful landlords, String Band Clubs or anything else that they or their family is not either friends with or related to. 

Just My 2 Cents!

 
 
3
Jim from TAXI said...

Just knowing the cab company is not running out of their residence is fine with me.

 
 
4
HsWkr said...

Please publish the law that regulates taxi cabs.
Let's see if Joe Stechlair is literally interpreting the law or putting his own personal spin on it.

 
 
5
FYI said...

It's a local "Ordinance" not a law!

 
 
6
cost to high said in reply to HsWkr...

joe stechlair and crew have harassed almost every home owner and landlord and business owner in this city thanks in part to the james gang. its time for him to be put in his place and stop playing house police. we have nearly 175 homes for sale at present. houses for sale or vacant rental properties pick your choice. i guess it is time for him and his crew to be used to go after the police as well. joe is a frustrated wannabe cop or a wannabe biker.

 
 
7
Jack the Hack said in reply to FYI...

The Ordinances of Gloucester City are the laws promulgated by the governing body and are adjudicated in a court of law.

Having read Chapter 82 of the Gloucester Code I found no reference to a restriction to parking on Broadway or any other street in Gloucester City.

So the question becomes, is Joe Stechlair making up his own rules?

Also, 82-12. Taximeter required states,
Every taxicab shall be equipped with a taximeter of an approved design and make.

The next question is, can Joe Stechlair or anyone else working for the city produce a list of approved makes and designs?

 
 
8
Pedro Jamal Moore from Broadway said...

It's a good law. It's bad enough we have all the human trash walking up and down the north end of Broadway. If you allow one taxi to park on Broadway then you have to allow them all. JUST like in Camden. I sure don't want to see taxi's parked up and down Broaday. And that's all we need:tattoo parlors, piercing pagodas, bail bonds offices and check cashing places all along Broadway. They will help attract more scum to Gloucester. What, your daughters haven't been violated enough and now you want to attract more scum then is already here?

 
 
9
coach87@ymail.com said...

Again...its just a matter of what they want to enforce. There are lots of things on "the books" that do not get enforced? Isn't there something about no commercial vehicles on the street at night? I feel like I live in a construction parking lot in my neighborhood? There's at least 3-4 vans and large trucks that park around my house. These people just do what they want and no one bothers them...its who you know in Gloucester. 

 
 
10
Skinheads suck said...

Yo bub, take a look at the police blotter. All of the crime is committed by people named Shane, Justin, Joe, Katherine and jackie: white dirtynecks just like yourself. Take your hate-filled rants somewhere else--if anywhere else will take you.

 
 
11
M. Powell said...

There is no Bill G who is a senior at Gloucester High. The kids at the high school get along just fine. If anyone ever called you a cracker, they would be arrested for ethnic intimidation. This post is fake, untrue and incendiary. Bill, will you please delete it? 

 
 
12
Ron Marciano said...

How the hell did we go to an alleged race problem at the high school and so called north Gloucester slums. This topic I thought was about taxi cabs. And two businessmen that want to spend their money in Gloucester City. Money that would help our shrinking tax base. 

Gloucester City needs to rethink its zoning laws. They are outdated. Other towns like Bellmawr have no trouble allowing a taxi business in their community and I think they are more affluent then this UEZ/ABBOTT District town.

The idea of continuing to go to the taxpayers for increases to pay inflated employee salaries, and to fund a $4 million fire department is becoming old. 

Police officers come on here an brag how good their department is well if that is the case they surely can handle any problem that MAY arise because the City allows a taxi cab business locate on Broadway...

God forbid it sound like the end of the world Gloucester City has a taxi cab business and it is on Broadway, get real.

Let's hear from Mr. Marchese and Mr. Levins, what are your thoughts on this topic. Wait a minute Nick is too busy going around town to see if the stop signs are crooked or straight. Maybe Wil has something to say. 

 
 
13

To: Pedro Jamal Moore from Broadway,
Speaking of daughters, I see that you quoted all of the other business' that the Gorman & Kains have already decided that they don't want us to have the chance to patronize, however you didn't quote the Go Go Bars, is this because your daughter is a stripper or because you frequent strip bars?? I'm just asking a ligament question, you are the one who brought up daughters, so I just wanted to ask about yours and your Strip Bar Habits??

Curious George ;o) 

 
 
14
Thompson Ave. resident said...

I have a question. Why is Mr. Miller allowed to operate his buiness out of his Thompson Avenue house. I always see at least 3-4+ cabs there at one time numerous times a day. Why is this allowed to happen in a residential neighborhood? Did Mr. Miller ever get approval from the planning board to have a USE vareince? 

 
 
15
Beep Beep said...

This is probably how they are banning taxis:

"B. Prohibited Uses - All Districts 

16. The outdoor storage of goods, articles, appliances, or vehicles shall be prohibited in all Commercial or Industrial districts unless items being stored are to be sold, are located behind the front setback line and are screened from visibility from any residential property. No outdoor storage of trash, junk or debris shall be permitted in any district unless it is contained in an enclosure conforming to the standards of Section V 18.C.1 of this Ordinance. Visible storage of any kind shall not be permitted on any premises in any Residential district."

Now, we all see vehicles stored all the time along Broadway, ie the postal trucks, vehicles parked at repair shops, etc. Apply for a use variance and when it gets denied, hire a lawyer and sue. Or join the democrat club.

 

 
 
16
Wil Levins said...

Dear Mr. Marciano,

Prior to Mr. Cleary’s article I was unaware of Mr. Miller’s difficulties to attain a business location on Broadway. I am familiar with his company as my parents live down the street from the residence they operate from. 

I can tell you that I find it very disappointing to see yet another business opportunity squandered in our City; which is already desperate for new revenue. I also find it seriously concerning that our City would rather have Always Affordable Taxi operate from a home located on a tight street than on a wide roadway like Broadway. 

I am glad that Always Affordable Taxi has tried to prevail in a situation less than conducive to promoting business growth. Our City should take a another look at Mr. Miller’s needs especially since Mayor and Council pronounce to have a real interest in new business growth. 

What is of an equally sizable concern is that other businesses in our City have expressed to me similar difficulties operating here. If our City is serious about lowering property taxes and resolving a revenue crisis than they will need to embrace the business community much better than they have thus far. 

More to come…

Respectfully,

Wil Levins
Independent Candidate for Gloucester City Council

 
 
17
tired of Joe said...

TO the resident on Thompson Ave ,
Always affordable has not parked their taxi's on their property in a number of weeks ,becasue Joe Stecklair will not allow it and as a matter of fact no matter where Mr Miller tries to park his taxi's Joe stecklair gives him a hard time,I have heard from out side of the company that Joe Stecklair is trying to put Always Affordable out of business, And my question is what give him the right to dictate he has imtimadated and bullied people all over this town, and with people like that in control this town will never prosper.
To name a few of companies that are eye sores in town,check out Troys auto there are cars parked there for months and nothing is said to him and how about all the trucks that are at different hoagie shops all along Broadway all day long and they are blocking traffic.The fact is that Joe Stecklair must GOOOOO!!!!

 
 
18
Unpopular said...

Mr. Stecklair's position is not an elected position, is that correct? 

I heard he has a grudge against the King St Espresso Bar, too. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, people.

 
 
19
g city resident said in reply to Thompson Ave. resident...

for one that is an absolute lie get your facts straight before you blog . there are never any cabs parked in front of our house because unlike any other business owners or workers with commercial vehicles in town we are not allowed to park in front of our house but if you ride around town other commercial vehicles can so if you are the type of person who needs to complain about something take a ride around and then you can explain to me what the difference is. i dont see what it matters to you i dont care what you park in front of your residence. the only car that parks in front of my residence is my personal vehicle. you seriously must really be bored or have no life if you need to pick on us . 

 
 
20
g city resident said in reply to Thompson Ave. resident...

I have a security system around my property, please feel free to view, lies lies lies, if you are going to blog try and be HONEST.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
21
Mike Stanton said...

Commercial vehicles should not be allowed to park on public streets. Miller can procure a commercial lot and park all the taxis he would be permitted there. If taxis can park on the street then why not allow home oil companies, landscape companies, or other commercial businesses park their vehicle fleets on public streets. Legitimate businesses, appropriately, pay property taxes for commercial properties and meet reasonable ordinances to protect neighboring residential neighborhoods.  
Regarding Mr. Cleary's comment, 'If it is because of appearance then...'; Are you suggesting adding to the current negative appearance of Broadway is not a good reason to deny the taxis to park on Broadway?  
Cheers, Mike Stanton

 
 
22
tired of Joe said...

Sorry to disagree Mike
But there are landscaping and fence companys and many others that are parked all around town ,there are many men that bring their work trucks home for work and park them in front of their houses...across the street from me there is a flat bed parked on the street at least 3 times a week,not only is it a eye sore but it is taking up parking for the residents that live here and park here.If Mr Miller wants to park in his OWN driveway where he pays taxes he is still given a hard time, there are alot of unsightful things on broadway we have auto repair/ car dealers on broadway not to mention all the bums that are there everyday are they going to get banded from Broadway also??
You say that Broadway has a negative appearance but have you done any thing to improve it??

 
 
23
Mike Stanton said...

To: tired of Joe

My point is not about individual contractors and their commercial trucks. I am talking about fleets of commercial vehicles that should park on commercil lots that conform to commercial ordinances

Is Mr. Miller's OWN driveway on a commercial lot or a residential lot? If commercial, then I sympathize with Mr. Miller's dilemma.

As to the negative appearance of Broadway, it was my lame attempt at making a point. When I read Mr. Cleary above, 'If it is because of appearance then they should look at some of the other businesses on Broadway and get them to clean up their properties before they enforce this one', I understand him to mean the following, a fleet of parked taxis is not a positive addition to Broadway but Broadway is already so messed up what does it matter. That is not a good argument for permitting the taxis to park on Broadway. 

As to your last question, the answer is no, not until I added my opion on this subject. Which does not make my points any less valid.

BTW, I do not know who you are, "tired of joe", but I will never again respond to comments of anonymous posters that attack, in a personal manner, folks that are doing their jobs.

Cheers, Mike Stanton 

 
 

- See more at: http://www.gloucestercitynews.net/clearysnotebook/2009/10/what-is-wrong-with-this-picture.html#more

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